SOUTH AFRICAN TEEN WINS GLOBAL GOOGLE PRIZE FOR FRUIT PEEL INNOVATION
Sixteen-year-old South African teenager, Kiara Nirghin, has won the
Grand Prize at Googleˇ¦s Science Fair for her innovation ˇV Fighting
Drought with Fruit ˇV which could hold the solution to the countryˇ¦s
water woes ˇK using just orange and avocado peels!
The awards were held at Googleˇ¦s headquarters in
California recently. Kiara beat 15 international semi-finalists to win a
$50 000 scholarship.
Before the awards, Kiara said that if she won she would use the prize to
continue her studies in science and to ˇ§further the scientific
development and application of my ideaˇ¨.
Kiaraˇ¦s innovation was inspired by the terrible drought which has
gripped South Africa, its worst since 1982 ˇV and involves using orange
peels to create an absorbent material to retain water in soil.
She hopes that as itˇ¦s a cheaper and more environmentally friendly
alternative to non-biodegradable super-absorbent polymers, it can be
useful to farmers to save money and crops.
Kiara, a St Martinˇ¦s High School pupil in Johannesburg, revealed she had
a natural curiosity and questioning nature which had led her down the
path of science.
ˇ§I have always had a great love for chemistry since I was young,ˇ¨ she
told the Google Science Fair. ˇ§I vividly remember at the age of seven
experimenting with vinegar and baking soda solutions in plastic cups.ˇ¨
The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology
competition for individuals and teams ages 13 to 18.